THIS WEBLOG page will allow you to follow the progress of saving Castle Cluggy. We like to keep things fresh, so here is what has been going on recently.
23 October 2021SCOTLAND'S FIRST LOCKDOWN IN 1350 - PLAGUE
The following article is written by Scottish Castles Association member Brian McGarrigle:-
‘In 1350, there was a great pestilence and mortality of men in the kingdom of Scotland and this pestilence also raged for many years before and after in various parts of the world. So great a plague has never been heard of from the beginning of the world to the present day or been recorded in books’. (John of Fordoun, Aberdeen).
Known as the Bubonic Plague, it swept across Europe arriving in England in 1348. The Scots, bemused, looked across the border where the ‘English Disease’ was causing such havoc. They attributed it to God’s vengeance upon a sinful nation. England’s weakness was Scotland’s opportunity. In 1349 an army gathered at Selkirk to raid Durham.
An English chronicler (Henry Knighton) records the fateful outcome: ‘A fierce mortality came upon them, and the sudden cruelty of a monstrous death winnowed the Scots. Within a short space of time, around 5,000 of them had died and the rest, weak and strong alike, decided to retreat to their own country’.
The returning army brought the disease to Scotland where it immediately took hold.
‘At God’s command, moreover, the damage was done by an extraordinary and novel form of death. Those who fell sick of a kind of gross swelling of the flesh lasted for barely two days. This sickness befell people everywhere but especially the middling and lower classes, rarely the great. It generated such horror that children did not dare to visit their dying parents nor parents their children, but fled for fear of contagion as if from leprosy or a serpent’. (John of Fordoun)
In the autumn, the plague appeared to slacken but the cold Scottish winter of 1349-50 provoked a renewed outbreak, this time with the complication of septicaemia. The Book of Pluscarden records that it: ‘Attacked with inflammation and lingered barely four and twenty hours.’
Apart from Fordoun, accounts of the plague in Scotland are strangely absent which has led some to speculate that it was less virulent there, but this cannot be substantiated. Certainly the canons of St Andrews, and (perhaps) Glasgow Cathedral, contracted the ‘peste’. Allow John of Fordoun the right of reply: ‘Fully a third of the human race was killed.’
11 August 2021BEAVERS AT CASTLE CLUGGY
BEAVERS which have been successfully re-introduced to Scotland have gnawed through dozens of trees, felling them into the water. Beavers became extinct in the UK towards the end of the 16th century. Surrounded by peaceful woodland countryside, you will encounter some of the most diverse wildlife Scotland has to offer at Castle Cluggy and, if you are lucky, you may even get a glimpse at our more surprising natural neighbours, from Eurasian Beavers to playful Otters in Loch Monzievaird, and not forgetting of course the delightful sight of treetop acrobatics courtesy of the beautiful yet endangered red squirrels, that the Dry Isle has provided a safe haven for.
09 August 2021COMING SOON
WE HAVE BEEN patiently waiting for The Glenturret Distillery's exclusive new 'Castle Cluggy' limited edition single malt Scotch whisky which was waiting to be launched before the global pandemic struck. The Glenturret team has been through a very tough period recently and all focus has been on the well-being of staff and customers, but they have managed to produce a limited edition bottlling with a generous donation from the proceeds going to the charity and we will have a revised timeline soon.